Subtitled A Story of Loss and Gain, you know you’re in for a painful read from the get go but I wasn’t expecting it to be this heart wrenching, even after watching de Rossi’s interview on Oprah.
Opening with the revelation that she is regularly woken from her slumber by the voice inside her that continually asks ‘What did you eat last night?’, Unbearable Lightness dives straight into de Rossi’s life during the filming of Ally McBeal when her eating disorder really came to the fore.
de Rossi interweaves her early life with that of life in LA, from becoming a model at age 12, changing her name at 15 (she was born Amanda Lee Rogers), to landing her first acting role and the decision to drop out of law school to pursue acting in the US.
It’s all dealt with in simple but powerful prose directly from the eye of the storm because de Rossi decided to speak from the heart of the issue rather than as a healthy person looking back making it obvious what was going through her mind at any given point in time.
Inevitably this book also deals with de Rossi’s battle to accept her sexuality and it’d be hard to imagine not including this aspect because at certain times this struggle seems (to me at least,) to enable her to fall deeper into her eating disorder. By that I mean, it seems that she felt she couldn’t control one aspect of her life so turned all her attention to following a strict diet and exercise regime which spiralled out of control and led to both bulimia and anorexia.